Thursday, 11 December 2014

Will draconian punishments stop drone use?

In the last week there was a report in the UK of a near miss between a plane landing at Heathrow Airport and an unmanned drone. With the US government admitting it's going to be more-or-less impossible to police drone use, the penalties for improper use will have to be draconian.

It's fairly well established that the difficulty of catching a transgressor has a direct impact on the weight of sentencing. As the old maxim goes, "men are not hung for stealing horses, but hung so that horses shall not be stolen", or words to that effect. The punishment may be extreme, but if there's very little chance of capture, they have to be in order to put people off.

Extending that to drone use, it is extremely difficult to catch users who don't comply with requirements to avoid airports etc. As a result the penalties will have to be severe. Perhaps to the point where no-one in their right mind would want one? Even businesses.


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